Monday, September 29, 2008

The Great Pantry Sweep

I tend to be one of those people who aspires to be organized, but doesn't quite find the time to make it reality. Randy and I decided to dig in and make the mess-of-a-pantry a more organized place to store food.



My sweet friend Amy came over and helped us whip it into shape. Is that a good friend or what?! :) I've done a good job so far at keeping it organized. I must start the organizing kick again and dig into other parts of the kitchen. Afterall, the kitchen is the heart of a home.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Home Home on the Range

We are searching for a new gas range. What features do I want in a range?

Here's my list:

- Must be gas
- Industrial and durable
- Look sleek (I know it sounds silly)
- Double oven would be nice
- Six burners would be convenient (for entertaining large crowds)

Jennair - pro: has a double oven; con: not as sturdy as the others

Wolf - pro: great industrial build, sturdy; con - pricier than the Jennair

Kitchenaid - pro: grill or gridle option in the middle; con - grill would be hard to clean & not sure I really need that option

Thermador - pros: 6 burners! very sturdy, top quality brand; cons - CHA-CHING, quite pricey

Decisions, decisions. My 82 year old grandma just told me to get the one with double ovens. She thinks I'll really like it. She might be right, but I'm going to take my time in figuring this one out. It's a big purchase and I'm going to think long and hard about it (which I hardly ever do).

Shall I?

I've been lusting after this coat for a few months now. But I'm trying to determine whether to buy it or not. The brocade fabric is really fun and unique. And I think the bow is cute, too.

It's online at J Crew. I think I've talked myself into it. I bet my husband will say, "Looks like you shot a couch." But what does he know about women's fashion anyway? ;)

Beatrice & Woodsley, Denver

About a month ago, Randy and I went out to Denver for a weekend. We met up with some of my friends and got appetizers and wine at Beatrice and Woodsley.

First off, the decor is like nothing I've ever seen. SO unique and fun. There are chain saws holding the bar shelves up. Then the food, very good and the wine list - divine!

Us girls - Jennifer, Lauren and me.

One with Lauren's mom, Liz. She's wonderful.

The husband and me.

I went a little early to meet the girls, and then my husband, Randy; my SIL, Lori; BIL, Rick; and husband's son, Josh.

I thought one particular detail this restaurant did was brilliant. They put a tag on your wine decanter so you could remember the wine you enjoyed that evening. They were hand-written tags stamped with their logo, the vintage, region, varietal, etc. I LOVE marketing like that. It's the small things that count.

A few bites of their cuisine.

Pea cakes with mushrooms - my personal favorite

Scallops on top of grits

Garbanzo mousse - this was REALLY good too!

A great night for all!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Juliana Daniels

Had these cute little finds for our breakfast nook. A fun little lamp and a wooden inlay tray. I'll probably hang it on the wall once the room gets painted.

Check out the detail on the inlay! Sorry for the stark white walls. They are starting to drive me crazy. Good news is our interior desinger helped us pick colors. More info to come on that soon!

Special Wednesday Night Dinner

We had Wagyu hamburgers on the homemade buns I made, salad and sweet potato chips. Apple crisp with ice cream, mixed with good friends and good wine. Too much fun!

What's your bag?

Mine's Tracy Reese. I downsized to a smaller bag than what I carried this summer, so I couldn't carry around so many things I don't use on a regular basis. I have my wallet, checkbook, cell phone, hair clip, lipstick, coupon to Aspen Traders - need to use that! keys, a nail file, business card holder and a couple of pens.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Save our Earth

Climate Matters from Steven Dempsey on Vimeo.

A friend of my husband and mine, Johnson has a buddy that did this awesome little 1-minute film about Global Warming. Gets your mind a thinkin' and is very well done.

REAL food

In effort to be healthier, and to jump start some weight loss, my husband and I (those of you that know him won't believe this) did a 2 day fast. No food. At all.

You drink just a few oz. of organic fruit juice, with greens (powdered greens) and fiber. Oh and you guzzle a shot of Bentanite (taste like wallpaper paste!). Do this twice a day, drink at LEAST 64 oz. of water and herbal tea.

Results? I lost 2.5 lbs and I think my husband dropped 5 lbs.

I needed a little kick and reminder that I eat too much and not necessarily the right foods.

Back to healthful living.

I've been meeting with a nutritionist to help get me back on track. She shared a few recipes and I made one last night:

Homemade Energy Balls

1 1/2 cups dried aproicots, diced
1 1/2 cups raisins, diced (or dried cranberries or cherries)
1/2 cup vanilla protein powder
1 cup rolled oats (oatmeal - not instant though)
1 cup agave nectar (or brown rice syrup)
3/4 cup natural peanut butter (get the no-stir kind)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup puffed brown rice cereal

Measure aproicots and put them in the food processor until diced small. Empty and do the same with the raisins. Add vanilla protein powder, rolled oats, agave nectar, natural peanut butter and vanilla extract. Mix until evenly mixed. Taste it, because it's SO good!

Then roll them into balls (I made little bite sized ones) and roll them in the crushed up brown rice cereal.

Yielded about 60 balls for me.

(I'll post a pic later - forgot to last night!)

Produce image via Stuart Plattner (thanks Google images).

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Bakin' bread

I wanted to make homemade hamburger buns, so I turned to the Pioneer Woman for a recipe.

Her recipe is really for dinner rolls, so I just shaped them like buns and hoped for the best.

I didn't snap many pics because I was busy making an apple crisp that evening too.

But here's before the oven:

And after:

I'll be using that recipe again!

Shoes are a girl's best friend

At least this girl's! ;)

Michele - this post is for you babe - my fellow shoe lover!

Gotta love the bling!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Princess Genevieve

I also call her Princess Delicious because she is so irresistable. She's my cousin and cousin-in-law's sweet baby girl. She's the most delightful baby to be around, never cries, never squacks and just smiles.

Best Beef Stew

I love the fall time - cooler weather, pumpkin bread time, my birthday and stew season!

I thawed this roast out from the freezer. Check out that marbling.

Cut that hunk o' meat in half.

Cut it into cubes.

Pour a little grapeseed oil in a cast iron skillet. (Salute Sante is my favorite.)

Throw those beef cubes into the skillet.

Lotsa garlic and shallots. (I threw in some onions too because I didn't have enough shallots.)

Saute the beef cubes for an hour until they are good and caramelized, and very tender. Then put them in boiling beef broth in a stock pot.

Meanwhile, saute the garlic and shallots in a little butter. Then add 1 lb. sliced mushrooms.

Add garlic/shallot/mushroom mixture to stock pot. Add 1 can diced tomatoes. Add chopped up potatoes about 15 minutes until done.

Serve hot with crusty bread and you, too will have one happy husband!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

My personal style icon

Is Janet. Everytime I see her - she's dressed SO fabulously. We were at her niece (and my friend) Alexis' wedding this past weekend. Check out her stunning dress! Love ya Janet!

(You can't see either of our fabulous shoes because my husband snapped the photo. :)

This belongs in my house

I had a shopping lunch - solo today. And ran over to Juliana Daniels, a darling little consignment shop in the 'hood that has AWESOME stuff. I picked up a couple things for the house (I'll post pictures later).

And found this:

Oh sweet Jesus, that would look AMAZING in my dining room, entry OR living room. It's sooo gorgeous. At a sturdy 9 1/4 feet tall - it's simply beautiful. From Holland and just lovely. I can't even tell my husband about it. I can already hear his response, "Go shake the money tree out back." A girl can dream, right?!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Peach Pie

My SIL Lori taught me how to make my MIL's pie crust. I don't even really like pie, but this crust is so flaky and perfect. Now, I'm a pie fan.

1 C. Flour
1/2 Crisco
1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 C. cold water

Combine flour, Crisco and salt with fork or pastry blender until crumbly. Stir in water (don't over-mix). Roll out on floured surface.

Place genty into a pie pan. Make it look pretty around the edges. Bake it on 400 degrees. Don't ask me how long - I think 30 minutes. I can't remember. :)

Peel fresh peaches. Since we were in CO, we got the REALLY good peaches! ;)

Heat a few peach slices with some sugar to make the glaze. Mash those babies up.

That's just right for the glaze.

Keep rollin' till it's good and thin.

Place it in the pan and then form it so it's pretty around the edges. This is a fine art that I haven't accomplished. But I figure it all tastes the same.

Serve with whipped cream on top.

And here are my MIL's comments about pie baking in general (too cute!).

"I have to comment that I think the Crisco people have done something to their shortening, as it doesn't seem to work as well as it used to (could it be me????), or is as pure white.

Glad you are into the pie baking, it's a "good thing" as Martha Stewart says, to bake a pie!!!!"

Table 6 Brunch, Denver

I'll let the food do the talking, but I'll say that this brunch was four forks out of five. Mmmmm.

Plum jelly filled bignettes.

Brunch appetizers (let me just say that any place that has brunch apps is alright by me!) Homemade charcuterie and cheeses. Ever had lamb bacon? Me neither until that day.

Scrambled eggs, lox and tator tots.

Biscuits and gravy (I'd call it more of a puff pastry and RICH lamb gravy)

Can't remember what this was called, but it had some decadent sauce and sauteed mushrooms on top.